Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

They Knew… April 17, 2013

Filed under: Random,Recipes — rabbit @ 4:10 pm
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So I was going through some photos, making myself feel old

When I stumbled across the first pets I ever had.

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I tried to feed them Trix cereal because I felt sorry for them.

(Does anyone else remember Trix before they were fruit shapes?!?)

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Anywho.

It occurred to me that Thumper and Snowball were the prophecy of my future rabbit food lifestyle.

Talk about a revelation :p

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This salad is not exactly a revelation.

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But I’d like to think it’s just as tasty.

At work last week we had our minds on arugula.  We like arugula…  So I started thinking of something light, yet rich.  Something with personality.  The peppery bite of arugula; buttery-smooth avocado; and the nerdy-looking, often ridiculed, asparagus.  But asparagus gets to be cool here.  Because it’s shining in it’s raw form: crisp, a little bitter, but sweet, and dressed in simple spices and lemon.  And this bunch was purple.  Yeah, purple!

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Arugula, Avocado & Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:

2 big handfuls of arugula

1 1/2 cups (more or less if you’d like) of chopped raw asparagus*

1 medium avocado

1 lemon

salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to taste

Optional: Nuts or seeds, dried fruit, sprouts, etc.

*If you’re really against eating asparagus raw, you can lightly steam it.  Pansy.

1) Dump that arugula in a medium bowl!  Good job!

2) Now toss in the asparagus!  Yeah!

3) Okay, for serious now…  Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed, and criss-cross the flesh with your knife.  Then just scoop the cubes out with a spoon into the salad.

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4) Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika onto the mixture.  I like to be generous with the paprika for its sweet and savory touch.  Zest the lemon onto the salad and toss the mixture to distribute the spices.  Add the juice of the lemon, and toss again.

The salad is good to go at this point.  But as indicated above, you can add other tidbits.

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Such as walnuts and dried figs…  Ooh

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For serious.  This salad.  Rabbit approved.

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This, however, is not “Meh”. May 22, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 12:01 pm
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Summer is approaching.  The sun is getting stronger, the humidity is getting heavier, and my sense of “Meh” is reaching critical levels.  Turning on the oven or stove is not exactly on my list of Super-Fantastic Things To Do.  I’d rather eat spring mix from the container and call it a day.

Amiright, Kitty?

Kitty?

Ass.

That doesn’t mean I won’t come up with something with a little more oomph for you.

Omg, wtf is that??

Get your blender, we’re making gazpacho.  Different color from last year though.  This one was the result of some extra bell peppers lying around.

I combined them with cashews, and a bit of exotic influence:

Paprika, turmeric, fenugreek, a bit of cayenne…

Sweet Pepper and Cashew Gazpacho

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow)

1 large tomato

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water and drained (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours)

a bit of lemon zest (like half a teaspoon)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp fenugreek

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1-2 tsp dijon mustard

a few dashes of white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the bell peppers, tomato, and garlic.  Throw into the blender, along with everything else.  Start blending.  You’ll probably have to help it along and push the ingredients down at first, but hey, we can’t all own a Vita Mix blender.  Once it’s all pureed, taste and adjust if needed.  Done.

The cashews really help to make this dish awesome, but if you want to try almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts, go for it.  Tahini would also be good in place of nuts.  You can also play with the spices– try cumin, coriander, basil, dehydrated onion, etc.  Serve chilled, or hot, with a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread, or top with some goat cheese, croutons…  You get the idea.  Aaaand.  This gazpacho also serves as a good dip for bread, or a dressing for veggies.  How awesome.  If you want to get a little fancier, try roasting the bell peppers and tomato beforehand.

Hmm.  Note to self:  balsamic heart is ugly.

 

No Cookies. Yet. December 8, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 2:21 pm
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So that was a nice little hiatus from here after Thanksgiving.

I’m lying, I missed you.  I just didn’t have the opportunity to get on here.

I’m lying, I totally did.  I  just didn’t make anything, didn’t think of anything to entertain you with at the moment.  Oh, I’ve got ideas.  TONS.  And I mean, I could’ve made some holiday cookies.  ‘Tis the season, after all.

Buuuuut I didn’t feel like it.  I’ve been battling sugar recently.  And it’s only December 8th!  There’s still 23 days of cookies, pies, cakes, chocolate and booze…  Yay<3

In light of that, here’s something to eat when you want to avoid a sugar coma and not feel all bloaty and stuff.  It’s a vegetarian ceviche, something I came up with for the Drunken Doughnut.  It fuses Peruvian cuisine with a few Japanese ingredients.  Barbara and I served it at the Boca Raton Food & Wine Festival, which I don’t have pictures of because the event was so crappily organized that we didn’t have time, proper lighting, nor electricity to catalog our glory.  But anywho, people liked my ceviche, so I made another version for you.

This recipe is almost completely raw.  It’s the marinade that’s not raw, because it’s mostly a handful of condiments mixed together.  Even the mushrooms I chose not to cook this time, as the marinade will ease them up for digestion.  If you want to, you can cook the mushrooms any way you like before adding the marinade, though I would suggest sauteeing them in sesame oil.

Wild Mushroom Ceviche

Ingredients:

approx. 1 lb wild mushrooms (Go for a variety if you can.  I used shiitake and enoki here.  For the Drunken Doughnut, I used shiitake, enoki, golden enoki, wood ear, and king oyster.  It was crazy!)

1 15-oz can palm hearts

1 small bunch of cilantro

For the Marinade:

1 large ripe tomato

2 cloves garlic

and the rest according to your taste preference…

ketchup (I know, I’m not supposed to like ketchup, but it’s a convenience here!)

lime juice

lemon juice

Peruvian yellow pepper paste

Peruvian red pepper paste

worcesteshire sauce (I used a vegan one, but you can use regular if you want)

rice vinegar

mirin (optional)

salt & pepper

 

These are shiitake mushrooms.  They’re great meat substitute shrooms because they have a deep, earthy flavor.  Remove the stems and slice the caps.  You can save the stems to make soup stock.

Then there’s enoki, which I first discovered at my faaaavorite Pan-Asian restaurant.  These little ones are delicate, and slightly sweet.  Enoki mushrooms really don’t need prior cooking, but if you must, make sure it’s brief.  They don’t like to be abused.

But you definitely want to trim off that dirty bottom.

Your best bet for crazy mushrooms is an Asian or international grocery store.  You could find some at Whole Foods, but they’ll probably be way more expensive.  So there.

And here you have mushrooms, sliced hearts of palm, and a handful of cilantro.  If you’re anti-cilantro, you can use parsley, but then we can’t be friends.

For the marinade, roughly chop the tomato and garlic.  Throw them in the food processor and hit puree.  As the processor runs, add a few tablespoons of ketchup, lime, and lemon juice.  Then a teaspoon each of the pepper pastes and worcesteshire sauce.  Maybe a little extra of the yellow pepper paste.  That one tastes awesome.

After that, a few drizzles of rice vinegar and mirin.  From there, taste the marinade and decide where you want to go with it.  If you want it to be more sweet, add more ketchup.  More tangy, more lime and vinegar.  More heat, more pepper paste.  Mo’ money, mo’ problems.  Et cetera.

Again, you can find these specialty ingredients for cheap at international grocery stores.  Except for the vegan worcesteshire sauce, which you will have to get at Whole Foods, or some other hippie haven.  Fyi, traditional worcesteshire sauce has anchovies in it, which is why it is not exactly vegetarian.  The anchovies provide that umami flavor that we are so in love with.  This vegan brand hits the spot by using apple cider vinegar, fermented soybeans, and a plethora of spices.  Ees veddy nice.

Don’t forget salt and pepper in your marinade.  That’d be ridiculous.

Then pour the marinade over the mushrooms and palm hearts.  Mix it up and refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.  When you’re ready to serve the ceviche, slice or dice up some avocado, which you can use strictly as garnish, or toss with the rest of the mixture.  It’s way more awesome to toss the avocado into the ceviche, but I was trying to make it pretty for you…

Serve with some corn chips or rice crackers, and be awesome.

This dish will make you feel good about yourself.  This dish is a yummy excuse to bombard the dessert table.

To mix things up, you can incorporate other ingredients– sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, olives, beans, corn, artichoke hearts, peas, tofu, cashews, etc.  I can even imagine sprinkling on some farmer’s cheese.  Hmm.

And yes, there will soon be dessert recipes.  I know you need them.  Like crack.

 

Soup Meets Salad June 10, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 10:28 am
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There are three reasons I don’t usually order soup in restaurants.

1) It’s not usually vegetarian.  Even the vegetable soups often have chicken broth.

2) I usually doubt that it’s made in-house from scratch, or is even that good.  I used to work at a little cafe where we would actually do that.  No opening bags of condensed stuff and adding water.  We roasted the carrots and squash, caramelized the onions for hours, diced, and chopped and simmered.  My favorite part was adding booze if the recipe called for it; my boss frequently told me to sloooow dooown…  but our soups were bomb-diggity.  Yeah.  Bomb. Diggity.

3) And most importantly: I live in sub-tropical climate.  Most of the year it feels like we actually live in soup.

But sometimes… I just want something soupy.  I dunno why.  Just do.  I guess someone in ancient history felt the same way, because they invented gazpacho.

We know gazpacho best as a cold tomato soup from Spain.  It’s not quite like that, but basically, that’s what it is.  Gazpacho is not usually cooked and then chilled.  It’s typically just a blend of raw vegetables and fruits, amped up with spices, vinegar, oil, and often bread crumbs for texture and thickness.  And besides the tomato version, there’s a lot of variety these days.  Gazpacho can have ingredients like grapes, cucumber, watermelon, mango, nuts, yogurt, and all sorts of herbs and spices.  And if you go to Spain, different regions will have different conceptions of gazpacho.

I like to think of gazpacho as blended salad rather than soup.  I figure whatever would have come together on my fork can usually come together in the blender.  For example…

A tomato, zucchini, garlic, avocado… oh, avocado, you are like gold.  Creamy, buttery gold…

So I threw all that in a blender, except the zucchini (and of course minus the avocado seed and skin).  I started blending, and added some vegetable stock to help it along.  Then I gradually added the zucchini once the others were blended.

Then came the spinach.

I pretty much just shoved in as much as I could…

Oooh, technicolor…

Then I gathered up some salt, thyme, paprika, dill, cumin, and lots of black pepper.

A squirt of mustard too.  And some lemon juice.

Err…

Let’s skip ahead…

Aha.

Creamy Green Gazpacho.  A different, more refreshing way to get your greens.  And a good way to experiment with different ingredients.  You can use different vegetables, different spices, add flavored vinegar, nuts, seeds, bread crumbs, etc.  I highly recommend the avocado being in there for that awesome creaminess, and also because you don’t have to add any oil, but you still get some healthy fat in there.  Regardless, just go nuts.  Pick your players, throw them in, and add soup stock or water as necessary.  Skip the bowl and eat straight from the blender.

 

RaAaAawWsOoMe!! June 9, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info — rabbit @ 9:40 am
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I took my boyfriend to one of my faaaavorite cafes.  It’s one of my favorites because I can eat everything on the menu.  It’s one of my favorites because the chef(s) are creative.  It’s one of my favorites because I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve eaten there.  It’s one of my favorites because it feels good to eat their food.  Literally.

The place is an organic, raw vegan cafeHippie alert.

Well, what’s up with the “raw” thing, anyway? 

A “raw and living” diet consists of foods that are not heated past 116°F.  The diet is plant-based, and pretty much consists of nearly everything a vegan would eat, except none of the food is actually cooked.  (Technically, one could also include raw beef, fish, and untreated/unpasteurized dairy, but I’ve yet to hear of many raw foodists being into that.)  Why raw?  Proponents of a raw and living diet say cooking destroys the naturally occurring enzymes in our food.  Enzymes aid our digestion and help our bodies to get the most out of what we eat.  Basically, they make our bodies more metabolically efficient.  The term “living food” indicates this whole enzyme thing.  People who have diet-related health issues and weight problems are often lacking this aspect in their bodies.  A lot of the food that is available and popular to us is like dead weight.  No enzymes, low in nutrients, high in calories that won’t be used.  If our bodies can’t efficiently use the fuel that they’re given, wrenches get thrown in the gears.  We salute you, Hot Pockets.

Some will argue, however, that in many foods, cooking is helpful.  Some nutrients become more accessible through cooking, such as calcium in spinach; when raw, oxalates (some crazy molecule that nature came up with) block the absorption of calcium, but a quick boil will wash the oxalates away.  And then there are some foods that are just plain indigestible when raw, such as potatoes.  Personally, I wouldn’t argue one way or the other, because the important thing is to eat variety.  Sometimes my greens are cooked, sometimes they ain’t.  I will say, though, that I tend to eat mostly raw foods, simply because I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables that can be eaten raw.  And it definitely feels good compared to eating mostly cooked food.  Just for a week, try revolving your diet around raw fruits and vegetables.  Make salads, sandwiches, gazpachos, smoothies, crudite, etc.  Make everything else a side note.  And watch your metabolism speed the hell up, even without a change in exercise.

Now, how is raw and living food prepared?  Besides the obvious cutting up of produce, there is some preparation involved that to an extent, mimics actual cooking.  For example, dried beans are soaked and sprouted.  This makes them digestible, and also activates their enzymes.  Seeds and grains are also soaked for the same purpose.  Then these components can be blended together, and then dehydrated to make “bread”.  Soaked nuts, like almonds and cashews, can be used to make “milk”, faux cheeses, desserts, or anything that requires some fat and a creamy texture.  A good blender is a raw foodist’s best friend.  Sugar is not used in raw cuisine.  Often, dates and other dried fruits will be used to sweeten a dessert.  Sometimes raw agave nectar or honey is used.  Definitely a good diet for type 2 diabetics.  The cuisine can sound odd, intimidating and limiting when you first learn about it.  But just wading into it, one will find it’s fairly simple, refreshing, and impressive in its variety.

So, onto what we ate.

It started with a creamy pepper soup.  And no, it was not cold.

Besides being just hot enough (116°F, I assume), this had some chili pepper heat.
Really great, actually.  Very savory and complex.  Kinda smokey, too.

Then there was the Mediterranean plate.  Oh, man.

Hummus, tomato and cucumber salad, falafel, sprouts.  Top notch, baby.  I did not miss the crispiness of traditional falafel, but it had all the flavor of some of the best falafel I’ve tasted elsewhere.  And I cleaned that hummus and tomato salad.

Henry, the boyfriend, had the cheeseburger.

Sorry you can barely see what’s going on.  But it’s a meaty patty, topped with cheese, marinated mushrooms, and served on onion bread.  Henry loooooved it.  I’ve had it before.  I can attest.

And I had my favorite, the spaghetti.

Okay, it’s not actual spaghetti noodles.  It’s kelp, a type of noodly seaweed.  Don’t give me that face.  The kelp is naturally light in flavor, and takes well to the rich, yet light tomato sauce.  Also on the side are meatballs (omg<3) and ricotta-like cheese.  So… yummy…

Some people may have a problem with all this faux food going on.  They’re not real meatballs, it’s not real cheese, or a real burger.  But it is all made with real, whole food.  Nuts, seeds, vegetables, spices.  And no, of course they don’t taste like the “real thing”.  Why anyone would expect even a Gardenburger to taste like a real hamburger is ridiculous.  The point is to have an alternative that is equally (if not more) tasty.  And healthier, of course.  Whatever they’re doing at this cafe, I’m not missing anything.  There is so much flavor and indulgent textures, the senses are beyond satisfied.  I still appreciate the smell of bacon, or the site of a well-dressed burger, and I reminisce sometimes about when I used to eat hot dogs.  But I wouldn’t go back, knowing how they make me feel (not to mention the agricultural system, but that’s for another post).  I was full after this meal.  But I didn’t feel heavy, bloated, or get a food coma.  The human body will not turn itself on the owner if it receives proper fuel.  Food like this won’t make your belly stick out.

Now if only they’d make a raw vegan Hot Pocket…

P.S. The other benefit is that Henry’s farts did not smell horribly putrid later on